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Victoria police chief quits as watchdog conducts investigation involving tweets

VICTORIA – The suspended police chief of the Victoria Police Department has quit amid an investigation into his sexually charged tweets to the wife of a subordinate officer.

The Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board says Frank Elsner resigned from his position and will no longer receive his salary or other benefits after his suspension a year ago.

Elsner has been under investigation by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner and had already been reprimanded following a police board probe into allegations of discreditable conduct and misuse of his department’s devices.

Elsner apologized shortly after the public learned of an internal investigation that was looking into inappropriate Twitter messages that he sent to a female member of another police force.

British Columbia’s police watchdog said on April 19 that it would appeal a court ruling quashing parts of its investigation into the misconduct allegations.

B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson released a decision last month that narrowed the scope of the commissioner’s investigation by throwing out two of five allegations against Elsner.

The ruling determined that the tweeting issues that were investigated by the police board could not be revisited by the commissioner, but the office could examine whether Elsner contacted witnesses and if he gave misleading information to the subordinate officer and an independent investigator.

Elsner had asked the court to set aside the commissioner’s probe completely, arguing that an internal investigation had already been done.

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